Monday, February 27, 2006

Florida Caverns

We are at Florida Caverns State Park (map), near Marianna. We are under heavy tree cover here, so we are off-line and I am posting to a text file until we can deploy the dish.

Today's drive took us out of the music park and due west on county road 132, which intersects with US90 at the Suwannee River State Park. We crossed the river on US90 and left the Suwannee behind. 90 took us all the way to Tallahassee, which we skirted around on I-10 to avoid the downtown slog, picking 90 back up west of the city. From there, 90 swings up to just about touch the Georgia state line in Chattahoochee, where we passed just south of the Corps of Engineers dam impounding Lake Seminole. Another 20 minutes or so brought us here at the end of the day, though we have crossed the time zone boundary and we were off the road by 4:00 Central.

Somewhere during the drive along the Suwannee valley, Louise mentioned that my last post, wherein I said the Suwannee was "otherwise unremarkable" may have come across as somehow disrespectful. Lest we offend anyone, especially our good friends whose hospitality we enjoyed along the river, let me just say that we love the river (and blackwater rivers in general) and that we thoroughly enjoyed it both times we visited. Also, we feel the Suwannee is a beautiful river and an important resource. My statement was, of course, just plain wrong, since I myself have now "remarked" about the river several times. I only meant to point out that it was the song that brought the river some fame and notoriety, all for want of a nicely flowing lyric, rather than that the river itself was previously well-known and therefore inspired the song. Also, I was looking for an opportunity to point out the irony in Florida's honoring an individual who had never even visited the state.

It is, of course, very easy to trip up in this kind of forum and type something that makes perfect sense to oneself at the time, but is open to misinterpretation in a wide variety of ways by people who were not inside your head while you were typing. While we were in Key West, I wrote here that most of the other campers at Boyd's were "not our demographic." What I was thinking, and what I meant, was that they were not our "age group." Why I did not just type that, I don't know (perhaps I did not want to sound ageist). In any case, that remark was, apparently, widely misinterpreted, and, between that and my rant about getting no privacy in Odyssey, a discussion went back and forth in another forum about how snooty we must be.

Fortunately, a couple of folks who actually know us stepped in to calm things down, and I tracked the discussion down and posted some, ahem, "clarifications." I am trying, now, to strike a balance between being somewhat careful in choosing my words when I post, and just getting the post out in any kind of timely way. I suspect that whenever it starts seeming like an impossible burden to triple-check every post for possible misinterpretations, political incorrectness, or the remote possibility of offending someone I have not even met, I will lose the motivation to post at all.

Something I forgot to mention in yesterday's post is that, on our way from Hernando to Live Oak, we passed through the city of Williston. There, heading east through town on 41-north/27A-south, we had to pull over for a Florida Highway Patrol car with lights flashing and siren blaring heading the other way. The car was moving very slowly, and, at first, I thought it may be a funeral procession. On second glance, though, the car was escorting a convoy of three chartered MCI buses, with another lit-up patrol car bringing up the rear. The coaches were full of soldiers in camo fatigues, many of them snoozing with their heads against the windows. We never did figure out what it was all about.

Tomorrow we will head west through Pensacola and over toward the Mobile Bay Ferry, part of the gulf coast route that we had to bypass last January because the ferry fell victim to hurricane Ivan. Even though the gulf coast was hit hard by Katrina, which, you may recall, sent a drilling platform into the US90 bridge at Mobile, the ferry is again operational, and we are eager to see Mobile Bay and how the recovery is progressing along the coast. Tomorrow is also Mardi Gras, and we are hoping to see some celebrating along the coast.

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